Just about every small business uses some form of email marketing – and that’s a good thing. Most of you also use social media. Then you send a variety documents to a variety of clients. With all o this you’re hoping you’re touching the right customer at the right time!
I’m sure many of you are outgrowing your email marketing but you’re just not sure what solution to use. Maybe you have a complex sales cycle or are selling B2B solutions…you might need more than email marketing, ad hoc social media, blogging and everything else you’re doing.
Last week I spoke with executives from marketing automation and lead nurturing company Marketo who said that while email marketing is great, a combination of online marketing and customer touch points to the right customer at the right time is what many growing businesses really need.
Marketing automation in fact makes you look bigger than what you really are. Bigger need not mean LOOKING or ACTING like a multi-billion dollar company when in fact your sales are really $3 or $10 million, but it means that you have a clear sales cycle and process to advance customers from interest to final sales. Same results as the BIG company but for your budget and with the features you need.
VERY big companies use marketing automation all the time.
When you sign up for that “free car raffle” in the mall – it gets dumped into some big lead nurturing system. The system emails you. You click on something and then you’re moved along the sales cycle and fed another bit of information, this time maybe you’re given two choices. Depending on what you selected in the email. The marketing automation campaign continues like this until you finally buy the car or something else or until the system determines that you are not qualified and you’re removed from the system. Or keep in mind the credit card offers you get -they’re all part of a focused and strategic drip marketing campaign.
Now for SMALL BUSINESSES their are very few services that give you marketing automation – the only other company I can think of is Infusionsoft, Marketo’s direct competitor. The systems the big companies use are way to expensive.
Yesterday Marketo introduced a new offering, Spark by Marketo which provides smaller businesses what Marketo has been offering to large businesses, but at a small business price and just the features they need.
Marketo’s press release reads:
Spark helps small businesses create meaningful, cost-effective marketing campaigns – using inbound marketing, search, email, events and social media. Spark automates nurturing efforts and accurately scores leads, so sales people can focus on the right opportunities to bring in more revenue faster. Spark also measures the impact of each campaign and program in real-time, including email volumes and leads generated, so users can easily make changes to improve revenue growth. For an easy look at how Spark works, click here.
Spark by Marketo features include:
Email Marketing: Email is still one of the most powerful channels for effective marketing. Spark enables users to create reusable email templates and other creative assets, and to send automatically triggered and batch email campaigns on behalf of specific sales representatives.
Inbound Marketing: Spark improves campaign results with search engine optimization, targeted landing pages, and tools to help understand which keywords are driving the best traffic and leads.
Lead Nurturing: Sales people need to spend their time focusing only on the right opportunities, so they can close more revenue faster. Spark helps small businesses identify the prospects that are most likely to buy. It also automates multi-step marketing programs to build relationships with prospects over time using targeted, consistent communications. With Spark, campaigns take only hours to build, rather than days.
Lead Scoring and Insights: Spark empowers users to score leads accurately and automatically using prospect demographics and online behavior, pointing sales people toward the hottest opportunities. That means more quickly closed business and top-line impact.
Social Media: Spark allows users to build optimized landing pages and forms with social sharing buttons (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.), track all prospect interactions online without IT involvement and identify key influencers in social networks.
Event Marketing: Through integration with Adobe Connect, ON24, WebEx and other major webinar and online-meeting providers, Spark automates every step of organizing, creating and managing online events. Personalized invitations and timely reminders attract and convert more attendees into customers with intelligent post-event lead nurturing.
Check out this video for more information: